Front Renewed…A Rocky Mountain Juniper Gets a Makeover-

Front Renewed…A Rocky Mountain Juniper Gets a Makeover-

This tree has some history in the garden. We nicknamed it ‘The Fish’ to distinguish it from junipers in the garden that resemble other animals. Last week we changed it to a new front, which had been raised as an option for some years now, and we finally took the bait… The original front of […]

Experiment Results: Foemina Juniper Maintained as Japanese Needle Juniper

Experiment Results: Foemina Juniper Maintained as Japanese Needle Juniper

Several years ago I began working with a client who had a Foemina Juniper, Juniperus chinensis ‘Foemina’, of some provenance. The bonsai was created by Shig Miya over 30 years ago from an air layer, and the tree’s only branch was grafted on—a true feat of plant engineering. At the time we began on this […]

Tree Prep for the National Show-

Tree Prep for the National Show-

This is a small Rocky Mountain Juniper which its owner has nicknamed ‘Twisty.’ We were joking that this is not unlike calling your cat ‘Kitty’… simple, obvious, and hard to forget. I collected this tree years ago and have the joy of continuing to work on it occasionally- ‘Twisty’, the Rocky Mountain Juniper undergoing a […]

Needle Juniper Restyling-

Needle Juniper Restyling-

This tree is too tall. And the branches are a bit leggy, too. One of the problems we get into in bonsai design is that with time and growth, height and branch length can begin pulling us away from the trunk. Literally destroying the design, making it weaker. And this tree has a nice trunk, […]

Tam Juniper Bunjin-

Tam Juniper Bunjin-

Tam Juniper, Juniperus sabina ‘Tamariscifolia’, is a commonly planted conifer for foundations and gardens. The foliage grows upright from the branch, giving it a sprightly appearance. Once upon a time this Tam Juniper had a mirror image partner…it was a multiple trunk plant connected at the base, and we separated it long ago in a study group. […]

Revisiting a Cascade Juniper-

Revisiting a Cascade Juniper-

Here’s a Rocky Mountain Juniper some of you might recognize…collected by Randy Knight, and styled about three years ago into a cascade. The tree has been repotted since the initial styling, and it was rewired last week. This post is a photo essay of that rewiring… Before rewiring: Rocky Mountain Juniper having grown for several […]

Juniper Live Veins and How They Move…

Juniper Live Veins and How They Move…

…or get smaller, to be more accurate. When we style a juniper, very often the live vein changes in size. It’s normally an adjustment to foliage loss, or branch loss, or even root loss, all which happen in the early years of initial work on a juniper. Most commonly, the sides of the vein will […]

Two Grafting Projects: Juniper and Pine

Two Grafting Projects: Juniper and Pine

The first tree in this photo essay is a whimsical juniper that used to be a needle juniper. Although my client enjoyed the needle juniper, it wasn’t doing very well where he lived and was getting weaker. I gave him a few options, and he decided we’d ‘change the clothes’ of the tree, so to […]

Juvenile growth on junipers…Cut? Leave alone?

I’ve received several emails about how to handle juvenile foliage on junipers, and felt like this was one of those discussions that could be useful to a larger group of people. Juvenile growth in junipers is when the shoots display needle-like growth on a typically scale growth variety (a few of those are listed below). Spiky […]

Matt Reel styles a juniper in KINBON

The last time we talked about Matt Reel he’d just finished a staggering 7 year 9 month apprenticeship with Shinji Suzuki. When I opened my January 2015 issue of the Japanese bonsai magazine Kinbon, there was Matt, standing next to a very fine juniper that he’d worked on as an apprentice. If you figure Matt is […]